Recently research conducted by the folks at the University of Alberta in Canada found that Reservatrol, a component of red wine, had the same health benefits at exercising at the Gym. The health benefits of Wine has always been highly debated topic starting from all the way back in 3000 BC when the Egyptians turned Wine into Medicine by dissolving medicinal herbs in the Wine, and then drinking that concoction to help with certain ailments. Carina Storrs (special to CNN), has written a very informative piece on the history of the perception of the health benefits of Wine. It seems that the perceived benefits have been argued and debated for Centuries. Wine is fairly commonly consumed over the world, however in some countries like India it can cost close to $10 USD for your very average bottle of Wine. We thought we would do our research and put together this list of all the various health benefits that have been medically claimed over last few decades, so that you can decide for yourself if the benefits are worth the switch to Wine from your regular Beer or Whiskey.
#1: Prevention of Lung Cancer and improvement of overall Lung function
According to HJS, and as published in BMC Pulmonary Medicine wine contains certain anti-oxidants that have a positive association (effect) on pulmonary function. They were unable to remove the correlation that wine drinkers may lead an overall healthier lifestyle over drinkers of other alcohols, but wine does have certain anti-oxidants that have a better effect as opposed to the oxidants that exists in other alcoholic drinks.
#2: Positive effects against Depression
According to the PREDIMED study conducted from 2003 to 2010, they claimed that Wine consumption in the range of two to seven drinks per weeks resulted in lowered rates of depression. They had a 98% confidence rate in these results. This test was performed on over 5,500 men and women over a period of 7 years who had no previous incidences or indicators of depression. This is good news for moderate drinkers. Heavy drinkers however were at increased risk of depression.
#3: Prevention of the Common Cold
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon claimed that moderate drinkers had increased protection against colds. According to article printed in the BBC, experts at various Universities found that folks that drank 2 or more glasses of wine per day had a 44% lesser chance of catching the common cold versus non drinkers.
#4: Improvement of Short Term Memory
A pilot study conducted by a German University found a positive link between increased short term memory and usage of Resveratrol supplements. Reservatrol is an anti-oxidant, and is found in peanuts, pistachios, grapes, red and white wine, blueberries, cranberries, and even cocoa and dark chocolate. This study was conducted and compared against a placebo. They found also found improvements in the breakdown of sugars by these subjects which leads us to our next claimed benefit.
#5: Prevention and management of Type II Diabetes
According the researchers, Red Wine contains certain anti-oxidants that actually slow the passage of glucose into the bloodstream which prevents a sugar spike that is usually seen immediately after a meal especially for people with Type II Diabetes. There is an enzyme called Alpha-Glucosidase which is responsible for absorption of glucose by the small intestine. Red wine was able to inhibit this enzyme by a 100%!
#6: Protection of Teeth
According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, red wine as well as grape seed extracts help prevent caries (cavities) by protecting against the bacteria that create biofilm (communities of bacteria) in the mouth and destroy our teeth.
#7: Prevention of Acne
Researchers at UCLA discovered that when Resveratrol (component of red wine) was combined with Benzoyl Peroxide, it worked wonders in the treatment of Acne!
#8: Prevention of Breast Cancer
This is a rather complicated topic. According to the Journal of Women’s Health the skin and seeds in red grapes contain chemicals that reduce Estrogen level while raising Testosterone in pre-menopausal Women thereby reducing the risk of Breast Cancer. However, it also it also widely claimed by various researchers that consumption of alcohol by women increases the risk of of breast cancer. They claim that compared to women who dont drink, women who drink up to 3 drinks per week have an increased risk of 15%. I think the takeaway here until we have more substantiated research is that for women who drink, it may be more beneficial to pick Red Wine as their choice of drink.
#9: Prevention of Colon Cancer
According to Joseph Anderson, MD, people drinking three or more glasses of red wine per week are less likely to be affected by the abnormal growths that result in Colon Cancer. This is effect is primarily caused by Resveratrol, and it is not proven that it prevents or treats Colon cancer, but simply that it reduces the risk odds of getting the abnormal growths that result in this type of cancer.
#10: Prevention of Dementia
Researchers found that Resveratrol may affect the underlying process that lead to Dementia or Alzheimers. This was not a conclusive study, but was interesting enough to include in our list. This study was conducted with the usage of Resveratrol pills. The bad news is that one would have to drink a 1,000 bottles per day to get the equivalent amount of Resveratrol that they used in the study.
#11: Prevention of Liver Disease
NAFLD (Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease) is caused when fat collects in the Liver of a non-drinker. It was observed that drinking one glass of wine per day can reduce the risk of NAFLD to 50% as compared to non-drinkers. In a related fact, it is known that excessive drinking can lead to Liver disease.
#12: Prevention of Prostate Cancer
According to the Harvard Health Press, drinking red wine has been associated with the reduced risk of prostate cancer. When comparing white wine versus red wine, it seemed that the health benefits of the red wine were much better. It seems that even low amounts of red wine helped, the risk was reduced by 6% for every additional glass of wine.
#13: Prevention of Sunburn
According to a study, the Polyphenols and Antioxidants in wine result in increased protection from the ill-effects of exposure to the Sun.
#14: Protection of the Brain
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University discovered that red wine consumption may protect the brain from damage during a brain stroke. They tested effects of Resveratrol in Mice. They were interested in the so called French Paradox which essentially is the fact the French although enjoy a diet high in Butter, Cheese and saturated fats, they have lower incidence of Cardiovascular disease.
#15: Prevention of Heart Disease
Drinking wine increases the levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in the body. Wine does this a lot better than other Alcohols, and thereby has a positive effect on protection of the heart from Coronary heart disease, and sudden Cardiac death.
#16: Protection of Bones
Moderate intake of Wine has been shown to maintain bone strength and protect against Osteoporosis.
#17: Anti Aging Properties
The antioxidants and Polyphenols in wine play a big role in preventing against age related diseases by acting against the free radicals that cause these diseases.
#18: Protection of Eyes
Wine contain Flavonoids that are known to protect against Cataracts and Macular Degeneration. Wine also increases the level of Omega-3 fatty acids, which also play a big role in alleviating dry eyes, and macular degeneration.
#19: Reduction of Cholesterol
The Antioxidants in wine help increase the levels of HDL (High Density Lipoproteins) in your Body. This is the "good cholesterol". Resveratrol also helps in reducing LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins) and prevents blood cots. Excessive drinking may negate the benefits of the Antioxidants resulting in other more severe health concerns.
#20: Reduction and Maintenance of Weight
Scientists in Washington University found that drinking Wine can result in weight loss as it was found that Resveratrol helped convert White Fat into Beige Fat. Beige Fat is supposedly easier to burn.
#21: Increased protection of the Gut
A recent study showed that drinking red wine increased the level of bacteria called Bifidobacteria. These bacteria are responsible for reducing the permeability of our Gut wall which results in reduced inflammation. Higher levels of inflammation are associated with Depressive disorders, Autism and even Alzheimer's. There you have it! It seems that there are MANY health benefits to that daily glass Wine. However, does it compare to an hour at the Gym? Probably not. It seems that the key is moderation in consumption, paired with a relatively active lifestyle and a balanced diet. As far as moderation is concerned, it seems that the most common definition is somewhere around 2 medium glasses of wine per day for Men, and about 1 glass per day for Women. So, go on... Enjoy that wonderful glass of wine with your next meal!
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